Time and Money Saver!
Over the past 15 years I have tried it all when going to the grocery. Shop every few days, shop once a week and in my dreams I go out to eat to a fabulous restaurant every day Ha ha! The most cost and time efficient way is to shop every two weeks!!!
When I run in to the grocery just to pick up just a few items I need, it always ends up costing me $60- $100. There are a couple of impulse buys …usually in the chocolate or junk food aisle.
Here is how to get started:
1. Set a budget that works for your family… don’t look at other people’s budget, every family’s needs are different. I budget $150 per week for food. I have 5 people in my family and that works for us. Pick a budget that works for you.
2. Take Inventory of Your Pantry – The best gift you can give yourself is having a well stocked pantry. Here is my list of items in my pantry. MB’s Pantry List
3. Make a Grocery List – I hang a grocery list in a cabinet in my kitchen and add to it when I am running low on a specific item. My grocery list has simple categories: Produce, Bread, Meat, Frozen, Canned Goods, Dairy and Misc. Free printable Blank Grocery List.
4. Pick a Day to grocery shop I shop on Tuesdays a lot. The shelves are stocked and the store is not as crowded.
5. Ask for help at the grocery! If the strawberries look a little old, I ask the Produce associate if they happen to have any strawberries in the back that look better. They are always happy to help. My family drinks a lot of milk. I need the expiration date to last until my shopping trip two weeks later. If the milk is not dated far enough out, I ask someone if they have a couple of gallons of milk from the back with a later expiration date. They are always so kind and say ” It’s no problem at all :)”
Here are some helpful hints to help with your first two weeks:
* Use all the food in your Fridge before you head back to the Grocery – You will waste less food and save money in the end.
* Be creative! If you are out of something,try substituting the item with something you have in your fridge rather than going to the store
* I bulk shop at Costco to stock up on meats/ fish and some pantry items( oatmeal , ground flax seed, honey )
* I freeze all my meat/fish and take them out as needed.
* Use the produce that spoils quickly in the first week and the produce with the longer shelf life the second week.
Produce to use in the First Week:
Fruit: Berries, grapes, bananas,
Veggies: asparagus , green beans, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms
Fruit: apple, pears, bananas ( maybe the green bananas have ripened and are ready to use), melons, pineapple
Veggies: potatoes, yams, cauliflower, cabbage, fennel, romaine lettuce, Brussel sprouts
* Keep a couple bags of frozen fruit and vegetables in the freezer incase you run out of fresh items
* Base your meals on what items you have left in your pantry/fridge.
For meal ideas and detailed grocery lists, please visit my Grocery Shopping List and Meal Plans.